I’m seldom at a loss for what to write. Just to be on the safe side, though, WordPress offers me daily prompts for when inspiration fails. Today’s prompt caught my fancy: “write a six-word story about what you think the future holds for you, and then expand on it.”
Too easy. “Site 28 for the week, please.” I’m making twenty-eight into one word since this is my blog with my rules.
Way upstate in New Hampshire, five miles from Quebec, is a little gem of a state park called Deer Mountain. It’s a simple campground with no utilities, no camp store, and only a spring for water. No one gets here by accident. You have to want to drive all day on U.S. 3 in order to get away from it all without having to bring a passport. You might also be hiking on the Cohos Trail, heading for the northernmost trailside place to pitch your tent.
There are a couple of dozen campsites tucked into the woods. There are a few out in the open. And then there’s the one that’s a quarter-mile away from a parking space. It’s listed as “hike-in” on the campground information web site, but really, is a quarter-mile all that much of a hike? Not to me, especially now that I usually hike solo with no one muttering are-we-there-yet while trudging along the path through the trees.
And here it is, site number 28, between the woods and Moose Flowage at the south end of Third Connecticut Lake. Packed earth, some gravel, a picnic table, a little firepit, and the shore: the property description doesn’t convey the sheer perfection of the spot. On a summer day, the slightest breeze across the water is heavenly. In the fall, the hardwoods fly their colors, valiantly trying to compete within the spruce forest. The night sky is unbelievable in such a remote area. The quiet is unearthly, broken now and again by a coyote or a loon. Loggers, route 3 traffic, and other campers are all muted by that quarter-mile buffer.
Life is full and busy and stressful. I take short hikes when I can, which is the stuff of this blog. I dream of a day, perhaps next year, when I can put work aside for seven whole days and walk up to the ranger’s cabin with cash in hand to place my order: “site 28 for the week, please.”